Troy Council approves name for reserve


By Sam Wildow

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TROY — The Troy City Council approved naming a prairie reserve coming to Duke Park the “Robinson Reserve at Duke Park” in recognition of Pat and Thom Robinson during its meeting on Monday.

The three-reading rule was suspended, and the resolution was approved.

The Troy Board of Park Commissioners gave its approval for the creation of the prairie reserve on the north parcels of Duke Park, formerly known as the Huelskamp Farm, during its June 3 meeting. The project is a collaboration between the city of Troy, the Miami County Park District (MCPD), the Duke Foundation, and the Robinson Foundation.

Development of the Robinson Reserve will begin late 2021 or early 2022 depending upon weather and other factors. The reserve will include a prairie, forestation, and a walking path area in Duke Park North. It will include eight acres of new trees, 32 acres of various species of prairie grasses, sedges, and milkweeds. The gravel walking path will also be approximately 1.5 miles in length, connecting to the paved parking lot next to the existing ball fields. The MCPD will also construct two overlook platforms for the prairie.

“The Board of the Duke Foundation is very pleased and excited to support the creation of a new passive recreation area and expand community usage of Duke Park. We especially appreciate the important recognition of Thom and Pat Robinson in the naming of Robinson Reserve,” Linda Daniel, president of the Board of the Duke Foundation, said in a press release.

The estimated cost for the project is approximately $58,810, and the Duke Foundation has already awarded the city a grant of 50% of the project, up to the amount of $30,000. The Robinson Fund has expressed interest in creating an endowment to help fund the future maintenance of the reserve.

During public comment, Brad Boehringer, of Troy, said he did not have a problem with the city naming the reserve after the Robinsons, but added he felt Troy’s Human Relations Commission “deserves a seat at the table” when it comes to the city’s naming process.

Following that item, the council approved a re-appropriation of funds for various departments, including the Park and Recreation Capital Improvement funds, the Cemetery Endowment funds, and the Miami Shores Golf Club funds. The three-reading rule was suspended, and the ordinance was approved.

Next on the agenda, the council held the first reading of an ordinance amending the general plan for the Troy Christian Schools Education and Performing Arts Facility planned development in the city of Troy.

The proposed amendment to that planned development, generally located at 700 S. Dorset Road, would add a parking lot and expand the boundary by approximately 0.522 acres for a total of 25.384 acres. The city would also have to rezone the 0.522 acre area added to this planned development from single-family residential to a residential planned development.

A public hearing on this amendment will be held during the council’s meeting on July 6.

Later during public comment, Christopher Harshbarger, of Troy, continued to advocate for the city of Troy to become a “sanctuary city for the unborn” by outlawing abortion within the city.

“Troy is a fairly conservative city,” Harshbarger said. “This looks like a fairly easy win.”

“But if you don’t stand for this, then how can we trust you to stand for our freedoms when tyranny and injustice come to the city of Troy,” Harshbarger said.

He said he has been in contact with state law makers and lawyers who “specialize in this type of law,” and he said, “They are willing to help.”

“I want to leave you with this. If you’ve ever wondered where you would have stood during World War II if you were called upon to protect the Jews from the Nazi Holocaust or if you’ve ever wondered what you would have done in America pre-Civil War if asked to protect a slave in up north, I have good news for you. You get to find out what you would have done,” Harshbarger said. “This is our moment to do something like that, to protect those who are made in the image of god.”

The council’s next regular meeting will be held 7 p.m. on Tuesday, July 6, in council chambers at City Hall, located at 100 S. Market St.

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